The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has charged the Presidency to immediately respond to comments by the Chairman of Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, that the Buhari administration’s underfunding of the military is responsible for the persistent security challenges in the nation under its watch.
In the same vein, the party also asked Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state to come clean on his alleged connections with marauders and bandits ravaging his state.
In a statement on Wednesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party deplored what it described as the underfunding of the military and attempts by the Governor Masari to politicize insecurity in Katsina by claiming that opposition elements were behind the banditry in the state.
The party described as worrisome, recent comments by Senator Ndume, who on national television on Tuesday night restated his position that the administration was not adequately funding the military.
It noted that Senator Ndume’s comments had placed a huge burden of explanation at the doorstep of the Presidency, which the PDP said, has failed on all fronts to secure the nation, leading to the escalation of banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and other acts of violence in various parts of the country.
The PDP further stated that it’s distressing that President Muhammadu Buhari had failed to lead from the front as he promised, in addition to failure to heed the demands by Nigerians to change his Service Chiefs and inject new blood into the nation’s security architecture.
The Presidency had on Tuesday, spurred calls by the Senate for the Service Chiefs to step aside.
The main opposition party knocked Governor Masari for resorting to playing politics with the lives of Nigerians in Katsina state by blaming imaginary political rivals, “when it is public knowledge that he knows the bandits and have been having dealings with them”.
The PDP observed that Governor Masari’s comments had also escalated public apprehension over his government’s alleged complicity in the banditry ravaging the state.
The statement said, “Nigerians can recall that Governor Masari reportedly has some connections with the bandits and even held a much-publicized ceasefire agreement meeting with them in September 2019, where the bandits reportedly stated that their grievance was alleged maltreatment by authorities in Katsina state.
“Nigerians can also recall that Governor Masari, in June 2020, announced that his peace agreement with the bandits has collapsed because, according to him, the bandits breached the agreement which his administration had with them.
“Our party, therefore, urges Governor Masari to come clean on his connections with the bandits and stop pointing accusing fingers on imaginary political rivals, apparently to divert public attention from deeper issues relating to banditry in his state”.
The PDP urged the security agencies not to be distracted by Governor Masari’s comments, which it said, was meant to cover for his failure in ensuring security in the state.
The party called on the governor to look for excuses elsewhere as no opposition group is behind the banditry in the state or any part of the country for that matter.